Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All is calm. All is bright.

All is calm. All is bright. Yellow Door wishes you a joyful and peaceful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa… holiday season. Be thankful for all the happy moments in your life. A toast!

Chef Craig at Yellow Door on New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is ideal for reflecting on the past year's milestones and looking forward to the New Year and all its possibilities. Kick-start 2010 at Yellow Door, devoted to cooking up foods grown on local farms that focus on sustainability.

Our guest chef for December 31 is renowned Chef Craig Common of Common Grill in Chelsea. He's taking a break from his busy schedule to cook up two breakfast entrees. Bring friends and family and dine on his delicious foods or traditional bread pudding, prepared by our own Yellow Door chefs. The scoop:

The Guest Chef:

Chef Craig Common of Common Grill

The destination:

Yellow Door in Chelsea, Michigan. If you're new to Yellow Door, email us so we can give you directions.

The menu:

*Gunthorpe Farms roasted chicken frittata with basil, prosciutto, caramelized shallots and Wisconsin Asiago cheese served with a sweet potato parsnip hash
*Cherry-smoked salmon scramble with Zingerman's Creamery goat cheese, roasted red peppers and chives served with a sweet potato parsnip hash.
* Traditional bread pudding with raisins, served with caramel-rum creme anglaise, roasted pears, creme fraiche and sausage
*Zingerman's Holiday Blend coffee

The details:
* Breakfast is served 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.
*No RSVPs are required. (For those who previously RSVP'd, please don't be discouraged. We hope you'll still come enjoy breakfast with us!!!)
*$15 per person suggested for the aforementioned breakfast options (see the above list).
*Kids are welcome and can hang in the Kids Room, hosted by Blake and Grant Ortbring. $5 for the Kids Room menu of juice boxes, jiffy muffins and fruit.
*You're welcome to bring a little morning *cheer* to toast the New Year.

Toast your holiday meals with Michigan wine

It's 11:00 a.m. Guests arrive in an hour and just when you think you have everything under control you remember dear Aunt Bern drinks only sparkling wine. Don't worry! The New Chelsea Market has you covered. Zip down to the corner market and head to the Michigan wine section for L. Mawby sparkling wine. While you're at it, stock up your wine offerings with other styles of Michigan wine, including Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Table wines and proprietary-named wines, like Black Star Farms Red House Red, are also great options, as they are generally nicely balanced. A toast to you this holiday season!

Angie signs first *BIG* check to Chelsea Community Kitchen

As you may know, Yellow Door is raising money for Chelsea Community Kitchen, a new venture to incubate new food businesses. Yellow Door's CFO Angie O'Neill signed the first big check to CCK earlier this month.

With your help, we'll continue to raise money for non-profits, like CCK, and hand over big checks from time to time as the coffers fill.

Good times at Yellow Door: Families welcome!

Good cheer and apple juice greet young ones at Yellow Door. There's always room for your wee ones at the table. (Unless, of course, we have a full house.... once the tables clear, though, there's room again!)

So if you've been thinking of visiting Yellow Door, please come. Your children are welcome, regardless of the age! Everyone's welcome behind the cheery yellow door. And what a great way to introduce the rich flavors of our region to your children while they're young enough to listen to your sage advice on eating nutritious foods!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New plan for New Year's Eve: Come one, come all - No RSVPs needed

A funny thing happened on the way to New Year's Eve brunch... you see, we thought, maybe a few folks would be hanging around town over the holidays... maybe a few people would be interested in gathering at Yellow Door to toast the New Year and maybe we'd just use the 12-cup coffee pot. Yeah, right! Now we're thinking we need a second 40-to-60 cup perculator! The response to New Year's Eve at Yellow Door has been phenomenal. Like you, we're excited to gather with friends, eat Chef Craig's breakfast dishes, share stories and sip BYO mimosas. So, what does this mean????

We asked for RSVPs to check interest in the NYE brunch. (Thank you to those who RSVP'd.) Please note, though, the NYE brunch is now, "First come, first serve." We've added a few more volunteers for the day; though, we always need more! (Email: if you care to volunteer for any Thursday Yellow Door.) Breakfast is 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Made-to-order omelettes and gingerbread pancakes

Yellow Door was hopping with Audrey in the kitchen whipping up custom omelettes and Roy performing Christmas favorites in the parlor. Pancakes were cookie-cuttered into gingerbread men in the spirit of the season and omelettes were crafted with favorite ingredients, like peppers, mushrooms, cheese, onion and tomatoes. A big thank you to Audrey and Roy for a fabulous breakfast experience!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Join us @ New Year's Eve Yellow Door

Begin your last day of 2009 dining on artisan cuisine prepared by Chef Craig of Common Grill at Yellow Door. (Oh, I wish I could be there! *sigh*) While we were originally taking RSVPs, we're now doing "first come, first serve" for this breakfast. Come celebrate the end of the year and toast the New Year with us!

The Chef is cooking up:

*Gunthorpe Farms roasted chicken frittata with basil, prosciutto, caramelized shallots and Wisconsin Asiago cheese served with a sweet potato parsnip hash.
*Cherry-smoked salmon scramble with Zingerman's Creamery goat cheese, roasted red peppers and chives served with a sweet potato parsnip hash.

Other Yellow Door favorites-o-the-season:

*Back Forty Acres pork sausage or Mama MoFoods veggie sausage
*Honey-sweetened yogurt, granola and seasonal fruit or West Wind Mill scones

Cap off your meal with Zingerman's Holiday blend roasted coffee, organic tea or Michigan apple cider.

A donation of a minimum of $15 is recommended. A Kids Room, hosted by Blake and Grant Ortbring, is available for wee ones who can dine solo (with parents in main YD dining area). $5 donation for Jiffy muffins, juice boxes and fruit. Canine friends Linus and Ozzy will be on hand to lend some entertainment as well.

Be one of the last six Yellow Door chair sponsors -- and possibly win free breakfast for all of January!

Be among the Sweet Yellow Door Sixteen sponsors of our stylin', gray, antique chairs. Your name will be emblazoned, well, more like, written in black Sharpe on a cow ear's tag and forever bolted to a Yellow Door chair. For $100, you gain a lifetime membership in our YD Sweet Sixteen. Your donation supports Yellow Door in its endeavor to introduce you to local farm-fresh foods.

If you commit to a chair sponsorship on New Year's Eve and we sell the remaining six chair sponsorships, you'll be entered to win a chance for month-long breakfast at Yellow Door in January. Bring your checkbook! RSVP to the New Year's Eve breakfast at:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guest Chef Audrey Schmidt and music by Roy Schmidt this Thursday

Aaaaah, music and fabulous food crafted by Guest Chef Audrey Schmidt this Thursday, December 17. Bring your friends and linger over scrumptious seasonal fare (see menu to right). Music by Roy Schmidt adds to the casual ambiance of Chelsea's newest breakfast destination.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Scrumptious December menu full of seasonal flavors

I can already smell the gingerbread wafting from the kitchen into the cozy dining area. See you Thursday for flavorful, seasonal fresh breakfast fare!

Gingerbread Pancakes
, featuring:

* Roasted pears
* Homemade crème fraiche
* Farm-fresh butter
* Warm maple syrup

Plus, your choice of sausage, veggie sausage or yogurt parfait

Holiday Apple-Eggnog Bread Pudding, featuring:

* Cranberry sauce
* Farm-fresh butter
* Crème fraiche

Plus, your choice of sausage, veggie sausage or yogurt parfait

Huevos Rancheros, featuring:

* Chipotle & tomatillo salsas
* Baked beans
* Corn tortilla
* Avocado and lime

West Wind Milling Thistle & Chicory Scones, featuring:

* Farm-fresh butter
* Crème fraiche

Yogurt Parfait, featuring:

* Honey-sweetened yogurt
* Fresh, seasonal fruit
* Granola

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chelsea-area farms and meat

Why buy food that has traveled thousands of miles to reach you when you can buy your fruits, veggies and meats at local farms?

Get the list here - coming soon!

A huge thanks to Jane Pacheco for the comprehensive farm list of the region.

U-Pick berry farms near Chelsea

A big thanks to Jane Pacheco for sharing her well-researched U-Pick berry farm list.

Get the list here - coming soon!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Closed for Thanksgiving: Gobble Gobble

See you on December 3!

Guest Chef Jeff Prenevost rocks the house

Guest Chef Jeff Prenevost rocked the gray house last Thursday. Light-as-air crepes oozed with raspberry preserves. French-style, cheesy, herb scrambled eggs provided a tantalizing complement.

And, though, we ran out of blueberry bread pudding, it was menu choice #1 that was the hit. Our visiting chef drew some new folks to Yellow Door. Thanks, Jeff, for a delectable entree'!

Monday, November 16, 2009

You asked for it: the Yellow Door playlist!

  • Prelude from cello suite no 1 by Bach
  • Andante sostenuto from sonata for piano and violin in c by Motzart
  • Menuetto from divertimento no 2 in d by Motzart
  • The arrival of the queen of Sheba by Handel
  • canon in d by Pachelbel
  • Largo from concerto for two violins and orchestra in d minor by Bach
  • Adagio by Corelli
  • Jesu, joy of man's desiring by Bach
  • Badinerie from orchestral suite no 2 by Bach
  • Air from water music suite no 1 by Handel
  • Rondeau from fairey queen by Purcell
  • Largo from concerto for guitar in d by Vivaldi
  • Adagio from oboe concerto in d minor by Marcello
  • Adagio from clarinet concerto by Mozart
  • Cantabile from flute concerto in d by Vivaldi
  • Menuetto from diertimento no 2 in d by Mozart

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Yellow Door, like, Facebook in person"

Overheard at Yellow Door today...

  • You can elf yourself... kind of like a body exchange program.
  • It's the hash!
  • A faithful, happy volunteer is priceless. You can always find new customers.
  • It's how to milk biscuits on request.
  • I'm an exotic dancer.
  • Two vegan sausages for your dining pleasure.
  • Really, we're not competing with Common Grill. We don't serve fish.
  • May I "friend" you?

Yellow Door...

... we get you messy.
... social networking -- in person.
... inspires me to eat healthier.
... more delicious than Facebook.
... we don't allow lugubrious behavior or conversation.
... get heckled for breakfast.
... a hearty serving of social consciousness can carry you through the day.
... the glitterati of Chelsea.
... fine breakfast dining accented by Ozzy snoring.
... we may give you a hard time.
... now decorated for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The right ingredients make Yellow Door happen

The concept: Hey, let's serve breakfast once a week using fresh, local ingredients to raise money for non-profits -- like the weekly breakfast they're doing on Fridays @ SELMAs in Ann Arbor.
The place: I bet my house can work! Let's get tables, chairs and some kitchen supplies.
The people: I'll shop local markets and farms each week... what about you? I'll prep and be there to cook on Thursday. I'm happy to greet folks as they arrive. Serving is my thing. I'm all about clean-up! Better just count me in for eating the food.
The food: We have to use fresh, local foods grown on farms in Washtenaw County and throughout Michigan. Let's try for all organic ingredients when feasible. There won't be any Florida orange juice on our menu! (Who needs OJ when we have AJ*?)
The donations: Hmmm... let's request $10-15 per breakfast, which is a steal considering the food is the freshest, the servings are heaping and the volunteers are the cheeriest. We'll give all the net proceeds to Chelsea Community Kitchen!
The vibe: I know -- let's make this the morning party in town... the place to be every Thursday morning. Oh, and it has to be fun.

*apple juice

Coffee Queen: Tina Weir

A huge thanks to Tina Weir (Todd Ortbring's sis) who took the early shift as coffee brew master on Yellow Door mornings. She has taken charge of that intimidating 40-cup peculator and added a special finesse to brewing many, many perfect cups of joe. With her company making a location move within Ann Arbor, Tina has to *resign* from her role as morning brew master. (She has been stopping by on her drive from the Napolean/Brooklyn area to Ann Arbor!)

Tina and her brew skills will be sorely missed. She earned the Coffee Queen crown (for which I aspire). Tina has been a key ingredient in Yellow Door's success. Thanks, Tina!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Now this tastes like the season!

After tasting the warm, mouth-watering crepes last week, Ginger proclaimed, "Now this tastes like the season!" The tightly rolled buckwheat crepes stuffed with mashed winter veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, celery root, carrots, onions and garlic) and paired with a poached pear were the hit feature entree' last week. Let's hope Deb and Mully cook 'em up again soon!

In just a few short weeks, Yellow Door has netted hundreds of dollars for Chelsea Community Kitchen. Imagine what we can do as a community if more people learn about Yellow Door! Help spread the word about eating scrumptious local foods -- all to raise money to help fund new Michigan food businesses. How can you help?

* Post a link to this blog on your Facebook page, such as:

I Yellow Door, do you? Eat local foods every Thursday morning, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Yellow Door. Email me for the scoop on directions! Menu at:

*Forward the weekly Yellow Door email to your email list (Not getting the email? Send me a note.)

Ask your friends, "Do you Yellow Door?"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Mighty Good" coffee

If the robust, lingering coffee fumes in my car are any indication, this week's coffee should be a good one. Locally-roasted coffee from Mighty Good Coffee of Ann Arbor will be served hot this Thursday. A refreshing twist to coffee will be crisp apple cider by Lesser Farms. Good news - we've "reserved" two more gallons from the next pressing, so we'll have fresh apple cider for a few more weeks.

Deb is brewing up buckwheat crepes with winter vegetable filling and poached pears. And heavenly hash gets a spooky makeover with purple potatoes from Tantre Farms. Creepy decor will be dangling overhead, so tread lightly. (Even Yellow Door gets in the Halloween spirit!)

Once Laureen or Angie greet you on Thursday, wander over to the new "message board" at the coffee table, so you can see where your Yellow Door breakfast was grown. It's a great tool for getting the scoop on where to get fresh, local foods.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Holiday schedule: Closed December 24 / Open on New Year's Eve!

Please take note:

Yellow Door is closed on December 24 .

Come party with us on New Year's Eve - eat, be merry and bring along a little sparkling wine fun, if you wish, for morning mimosas!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple cider that tastes as if you're biting into a juicy, mouth-watering apple

Hunting for giant pumpkins, cinnamon donuts and apple cider on Sunday led us to Lesser Farms and Orchard in Dexter. The just-pressed apple cider prompted sighs and oooohs of contentment from all family members. We picked up a gallon, drove away and drank four cups full of the juice... with juice dribbling down our chins, we turned around and picked up another gallon. The juice tastes like just-picked-from-the-orchard apples. Seriously. It's that good. 12651 Island Lake Road, Dexter. (734) 426-8009

got cranberries?

Freshly plucked (well, actually sucked) from the bog, Michigan cranberries make their first appearance at Yellow Door this Thursday. Dawn is whipping up some cranberry bread pudding, which will surely be delightful. Tis the season after all -- cranberries are mostly harvested in October.

Interestingly, Michigan's cranberry crop is now puny compared to, across the big lake, Wisconsin. We have just over 300 acres of cranberries on six farms, including the largest in Cheboygan, the oldest in the U.P. and at blueberry farm DeGrandchamp in South Haven -- where our featured cranberries were grown in a handful of 4-acre trenches. (Wisconsin's acreage? More than 17,000!) Back in the 1800s, Michigan had "tens of thousands" of acres of wild cranberries. Darn those developers and lumberjacks!

Related to the blueberry, cranberries offer a ton of healthy goodness and are among the only three fruits native to North America. (This statement is mostly true.) The other two fruits are blueberries and concord grapes.

Read this Detroit News article for more info on Michigan's cranberry industry.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What a grand Grand Opening!

The kitchen bustled, the pork shoulder hash ran out, the coffee brewed to the last drop and the people celebrated a really cool breakfast fundraiser for Chelsea Community Kitchen. Yellow Door's Grand Opening was, indeed, grand!

Laureen greeted guests and Angie served up a freshly-juiced apple-pear blend. The cooks - Deb, Mully and Tracy - whipped up the freshly made hash, turkey sausage and pancakes. This week, I tried the zucchini-cherry bread accented with a side of blueberries, and caught up with Marsi and Bill Darwin. The artists and Morel-hunting experts offered to take me in the spring to their super, special, secret hunting grounds. (I wonder if I'll have to be blindfolded???)

Chef Craig of Common Grill dashed in for breakfast. Many chair sponsors, including Maria and Chris Jacobson, savored the experience and Ginger enjoyed the autumn view from the cozy window table.

Next week, expect freshly-harvested cranberries -- harvested Wednesday -- from DeGrandchamp Farms to be featured in at least one of the breakfast options.

Hmmm.... where is Yellow Door located???

Are you really interested in checking out Yellow Door? And you just can't seem to find the address? We're not trying to be tricky. Rather, we're not allowed to publish it.

So, send me an email and I'm happy to give you the scoop on the location in Chelsea. On Thursdays only, if you see the fork and spoon hanging outside the cheery yellow door, come on in.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Grand Opening of Yellow Door: October 15

The Grand Opening of Yellow Door is finally here! This Thursday, October 15, breakfast is served. All the kinks have been worked out... well, we believe so anyway! We guarantee fabulous food, great conversation and artisan foods. Bring friends, co-workers and weekly coffee dates. This delicious breakfast destination benefts Chelsea Community Kitchen, a great new resource for those interested in launching new food businesses. See you there!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meet at Yellow Door this Thursday

Come meet for coffee and heavenly breakfast this Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Be the first to dine at the cozy window table or settle in at the bright, sunny tables.

At Yellow Door, you're sure to see familiar faces and meet new Chelsea friends. It's a great networking venue and, of course, it's the Thursday breakfast destination for in-season foods of the region. Check out the menu to the right.* I can personally vouch for the pork shoulder sweet potato hash. It puts my usual bowl of Kashi Autumn Wheat to shame. Dee-lish!

*Menu is subject to change

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunny greetings at Yellow Door today

The charming fork and spoon pair signified breakfast was on at Yellow Door this morning. Arriving an hour after the official start, I was greeted by Mary Waldron and invited to sign in, choose my breakfast choice of two options and pour myself a hot cup of coffee. A brief time passed and Marie whipped together my granola, yogurt and fruit plate featuring tiny grapes, plums and watermelon. (A heartier entree of wheat pancakes paired with sausage and fruit was also an option.)

Breakfast ran smoothly, albeit we now know to brew hot water for our tea drinkers. Gee, what a great idea! Even with a few hiccups, the vibe at Yellow Door was community. Hope to see you next Thursday at Yellow Door! ~ Sharon

P.S. The kitchen team was fabulous! Great work Deb, Mully, Tracy and Maria!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Volunteers needed: must love community & food

Yellow Door is seeking energetic, passionate people who love food or, at the every least, love the idea of a weekly breakfast to raise money for Chelsea Community Kitchen. Learn more about CCK here. Volunteers are needed to serve up breakfast each week for enjoyment by family, friends and their family and friends. Interested? Contact the unofficial, acting-as-manager person, Janice, at:

Our *test* breakfast is still on for Thursday, September 17, although the new plan is to feature one breakfast entree'. As we hone our Yellow Door skills, we'll add more breakfast options.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Food, fabulous food / September 17 menu

Chef Mully shared the menu Chef Deb has cooked up for our September 17 test breakfast:

* Homemade granola bars, fresh fruit bowl & Greek-style yogurt
* Cinnamon & nutmeg spiced whole wheat pancake with maple syrup, fresh fruit & homemade turkey sausage
* Blueberry bread budding with molasses sauce & bacon
* Swiss chard, feta (or other cheese) & onion frittata, fruit garnish & turkey sausage

Yummmmmmmmmmmmm. (Menu is subject to change.)

Sponsor a Yellow Door chair for life!

Sponsor a Yellow Door chair and see your name in lights... okay, not in lights... on a yellow cow ear tag. Now, how many people can actually say they have their name Sharpe-markered on a yellow cow ear tag? Be among the few! Your tag will be permanently bolted into a chair of your choice of only 16 available chairs. A $100 donation to Yellow Door gets you a lifetime tag. Email Angie at for more details and to rope in your sponsorship.

Get your Michigan cookie cutter today

Bumble's Dry Goods in downtown Chelsea is dedicated to selling American-made products. To spice your sugar cookie offerings, pick up the Michigan cookie cutter and, please, try not to lob off the U.P. Bumble's Dry Goods has beautiful scarves, old-fashioned knit and wooden toys, hand-blown glass items and more. A perfect holiday shopping destination!

Yellow Door's yellow door tables

It takes a certain flair to see something more in a well-worn door, a tired looking chair or ladder. At Yellow Door, what you'll see are antiques given new life. Well-worn, solid wood doors are now painted a bright, sunny yellow and adapted for Yellow Door's morning gatherings. (The unveiling of the "new" tables is highlighted in the photo.)

Charming chairs, freshly painted and reupholstered, complement the tables. Nearby, a ladder dangles from the ceiling by chains, holding shiny copper pots. The super-size buffet fills a wall and adds to the character of this destination.

So, what else should you expect? Delicious Michigan foods from the region, great conversation and a truly inspiring setting. Start every Thursday morning at Yellow Door. Our test run is next Thursday, September 17. Come if you're feeling brave! The official opening is October 15.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

9/12: Homegrown Festival + Cider and Perry Festival

Saturday, September 12, features two, fun-filled festivals promoting Michigan agriculture.

In Ann Arbor, from 5 to 10 p.m.: Homegrown Festival celebrates local food and community. Chef demos, kids' events (learn about bees!) and a Michigan wine and beer garden tent are a few of the exciting activities scheduled.

At Uncle John's Cider Mill in St. Johns, on Saturday & Sunday: Sample cider and perry from across the Great Lakes at the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival. Ticket price is $10 and includes souvenir glass and ten pours. Lorri Hathaway and I will be signing our book, From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries. Ben Watson, author of Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions and Making Your Own will also be signing his book.

Saturday mornings @ Chelsea Farmer's Market

Bins holding sweet corn, spicy chili peppers, bumpy squash, big-leafed chard and ripe tomatoes greeted me this morning at Chelsea Farmer's Market. Neighbors and friends strolled past walking their dogs or holding hot coffee -- the really talented folks were doing both -- carefully perusing this week's produce and chatting with local farmers and artists.

Get your fresh produce every Saturday through October at the market. Learn more at:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yellow Door's role model: Friday @ Selma's

Morning people who radiate enthusiasm and genuine kindness are to be admired. These people ooze goodness. They likely down herbal tea, three glasses of water and a dose of yoga before I hit the snooze button for the fourth time. Reality is that I am a morning person... after three cups of fully-charged coffee.

Today, along with Yellow Door's CFO Angie O'Neill, I ate breakfast at Selma's in Ann Arbor again. We were greeted by really, really friendly people. (Selma's should give training to statewide retail establishments!) After signing in, we were directed to the living room lounge for heavenly coffee by Ann Arbor roaster Roos Roast. The roast was very full and smooth and perked me right up after a less than 8-hour a sleep night. Fortunately, we had time to enjoy a few cups of coffee before we were called to our table, a low, rectangular coffee table behind which Angie and I squeezed in between four others on a comfy couch.

We quickly started chatting with a couple from Ann Arbor who have been regularly dining at Selma's over the last month. Four out of six of us ordered the spicy, peppery Frittata with side potatoes and a slice of bacon. For our donation of $10-15, we enjoyed refills on coffee, met some new friends who share a common passion for local foods and filled up on delicious fare cooked up by Wonder Woman and Bad Fairy. Really.

As shared in an earlier posting, Selma's is a breakfast venue in a wild-garden surrounded home. Selma's has raised thousands of dollars for charities devoted to the local food movement and for building hoop houses in the Ann Arbor region to support year-round, freshly grown agriculture. Jeff and Lisa are devoted to their causes and an inspiration. At Yellow Door, expect enthusiastic, full-of-life people, good conversation and scrumptious breakfast.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bright, bright blues, reds, greens & yellows

After years of photographing wine bottles and red and white wine in glasses, it's refreshing to photograph in-season fruits and vegetables. Visualize Merlot red and Chardonnay "yellow." Now, picture very blue blueberries, dark green peppers and crunchy cucumbers, juicy red tomatoes, yellow banana peppers and red (purple!) onions. Visualize sandy brown and sky blue eggs, deep purple-black eggplant and sunset-orange carrots. Now, plan to eat bright, colorful, fresh and delicious breakfast every Thursday at Yellow Door.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chelsea Community Kitchen Tasting Picnic

Under a bright, yellow sun, Chelsea Community Kitchen hosted a summer tasting picnic today at Timbertown park. A handful of food entrepreneurs prepared tastings of their fresh, artisan foods, including chicken and black bean quesadilla, wine jelly and granola.

Chelsea Community Kitchen, opening soon in Chelsea, offers a commercially-licensed, shared-used kitchen facility, as well as business development and educational opportunities. Contact for more information.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hanging at Selma's

This morning, a few Yellow Door planning team members (Jane, Janice, Deb, Mully, Makayla - soon to be Kindergarten student - and I) jaunted off to Ann Arbor for breakfast at Friday mornings @ SELMA's. SELMA's is in the home of Jeff McCabe and Lisa Gottlieb. Local food initiative advocates, Jeff and Lisa open their home every Friday and invite you to eat fresh, artisan cuisine prepared by chefs of the region. A donation of $10-15 per plate gave us a bellyfull of (1) waffles, melon and bacon, (2) bread pudding and (3) scrambled eggs and beans. What stood out for me was the most incredible feeling of being in the right place. Lisa, who greeted us, made us feel part of the family, as if we've been coming for years. This is our goal at Yellow Door. The door is open every week on Thursday, starting October 15. Everyone is welcome.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Moose and I are salivating at the prospect of fresh, local breakfast fare every Thursday, starting mid-October at Yellow Door. Sorry Moose! You're not invited. Plus, I'm really looking forward to stress-free, laugh-filled conversation with friends. (You're way too hyper in the morning for a civilized, albeit casual, gathering.) Yellow Door's Grand Opening is October 15 at 213 Harrison in Chelsea. See you there.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gray is the new black

Bright, fresh, just-from-the-garden fruits, veggies and flowers look stunning and oh-so-delicious against... gray. Yes, gray. Janice brought over five gray chairs she found after scouring garage sales. She gave them to me for photographing against my field full of goldenrods. Silently, I thought, "Gray?" What about bright, yellow doors? How about bright, purple chairs? How about bright? After snapping photos for nearly an hour, while dodging mosquitos intent on having me for dinner, I acknowledge Janice's brilliance. (You're brilliant, Janice.) Fresh, just-picked tomatoes, daisies, coneflowers and zinnias look bright, rich and vibrant against the renovated gray chairs.

Yellow Door will be the place for juicy, savory foods of the season framed by a subtle, comfortable setting. Get your name permanently in this setting by sponsoring a chair for simply $100. Your name (or business) will be featured charmingly on a bright yellow cow ear tag attached to a chair. Your sponsored chair will be pulled out, sat in and part of the weekly scene at Yellow Door. Gray is the new black.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A toast to Yellow Door

Counting down the days to when Yellow Door officially opens in Chelsea, Michigan, on October 15, 2009. Every Thursday morn, we're all invited to Yellow Door. It's a gathering of family and friends (that means you!) and your family and friends to savor yummy, delicious local farm-fresh foods prepared by volunteer chefs from the area. You probably won't see orange juice on the menu (er, well, that's because oranges can't grow in Michigan!); though, apple juice should be a staple beverage. A donation to the Chelsea Community Kitchen will get you a heaping of a breakfast serving. Children are welcome and I'm assured that coffee will be served, even though, we know, Michigan's climate is not suitable for a coffee plantation. Few exceptions will be made, so don't expect sliced bananas to accommodate any meals.

Yellow Door is the brilliant idea of Jane Pacheco and Janice Ortbring (who, along with hubby Todd, has opened her home to breakfast in Chelsea every Thursday morn behind their yellow doors). The weekly fundraiser reflects the successful breakfast venue in Ann Arbor called Selma's Cafe, which has raised thousands of dollars for local charities.


There is a distinguishable difference between a freshly, plucked blueberry from a U-pick blueberry farm and a blueberry that has been shipped more than a thousand miles to reach your home. Let's make a pact today to seek out local foods (and wine). The taste is notable and Michigan's farmers benefit from your business. Let's be passionate for our Great Lakes state together. We're so lucky to live in magnificent, delicious Michigan, the United States' second most agriculturally-diverse state.

Sponsor a Yellow Door Chair

Sponsor a Yellow Door chair and see your name in lights... okay, not in lights... on a yellow cow ear tag. Now, how many people can actually say they have their name Sharpe-markered on a yellow cow ear tag? Be among the few! Your tag will be permanently bolted into a chair of your choice of only 16 available chairs. A $100 donation to Yellow Door gets you a lifetime tag.

Your sponsorship funds go toward fresh, local farm foods purchased for Yellow Door breakfast gatherings, as well as Yellow Door's initial assets (tables, chairs, cooking and coffee pots, etc.).

Email Angie at for more details and to rope in your sponsorship